The Phillies have already dealt with plenty of injuries of their own, but health issues on the other side could play more of a role in their series with the Nationals this weekend.
Anthony Rendon, on the IL with an elbow injury, will miss the series. The Phillies might also be able to avoid the Nats’ second-best hitter, Juan Soto, who had an MRI after missing a second straight game with a back injury Thursday. He is day to day. Soto is out of Friday's lineup.
Rendon was off to an incredible start, hitting .356 with 10 doubles, 6 homers and 18 RBI in his first 86 plate appearances. He was hit by a pitch in the elbow on April 20, missed the next five days while on the Nats’ active roster, started on April 26 and then began a backdated IL stint on April 30. In all, Washington played seven out of eight games with 24 men.
Soto has really hurt the Phillies in his 21 games against them, hitting .310/.408/.679 with 7 doubles, 8 homers and 21 RBI.
If Soto misses multiple games this weekend, the Phillies would likely be looking at a 1-2-3-4 of Adam Eaton, Victor Robles, Howie Kendrick and Matt Adams. Not a bad group but not nearly as imposing as one that includes Rendon, Soto and Trea Turner, who is still out with a fractured right index finger.
Ryan Zimmerman is also on the 10-day IL. So instead of Kendrick and Adams (a platoon 1B) being the first two dangerous weapons off the bench, they’re now in the middle of the Nationals’ lineup.
Furthermore, the Phillies won’t have to deal with Max Scherzer or Stephen Strasburg. The pitching matchups for the series line up to be Jerad Eickhoff vs. Jeremy Hellickson on Friday, Jake Arrieta vs. lefty Patrick Corbin on Saturday, and Zach Eflin vs. Anibal Sanchez in Sunday’s finale.
The Phillies are 2-3 against the Nats this season and lost the last series here to them the second week of the season.
Losers of nine of their last 13, Washington is four games back in the NL East at 13-17.
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